GREEN BAY — Regarding the ongoing PED investigation involving star Packers defenders Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, GM Ted Thompson said very little on Tuesday, other than throwing the organization’s support behind the players who are reportedly being threatened with a suspension should they not cooperate with the NFL’s investigation.
“We’re going to support our players, we’ve always supported our players and we will continue to support our players,” Thompson said, before declining to discuss any specifics of the matter until the situation is resolved.
“I think everyone is going to have an opinion on things. I think there’s a lot of people who don’t understand what’s going on. It’s a little more complicated than we might want it to be. The more people pipe in, especially someone like me, into the whole serenade, the less likely it will work itself out.”
As for whether the Packers are making plans to potentially not have Matthews and Peppers for some portion of the season, Thompson said it’s business as usual.
“Not necessarily specifically them,” he said. “We make contingency plans for all of our players, because you never know what’s going to happen.”
With the Raiders visiting Lambeau Field for Thursday’s preseason game, Thompson will be reunited with Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie, one of three former personnel executives under Thompson who are now general managers in the NFL. The others are Seattle’s John Schneider and Kansas City’s John Dorsey.
Thompson complimented the job McKenzie has done in rebuilding the Raiders’ roster in recent years and said he always appreciates the chance to see his former colleagues across the league.
“I’m certainly proud of all those guys,” Thompson said. “The thing probably more important is the head of that in Ron Wolf and the work that he did. They’re good people and we’re good friends and we’ll always be good friends. You don’t find many of those people in the world, I don’t think.”
As he did last Friday, Thompson will once again watch Thursday’s game from the sidelines. In evaluating the team’s young talent, he likes to “read people’s faces” as they come off the field, and he can often see their level of, or lack of, confidence. It’s another piece of the evaluation process for Thompson.
“To see that moment when this guy, not necessarily comes of age, because there’s a lot of things that go into it, but he realizes he can play, that’s a fun thing to do,” Thompson said. “That’s a fun thing to see.”